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Old 07/31/08, 11:01 AM
highlandview's Avatar  
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Rock Hard Pears

My dad has an orchard on property he no longer lives on. He has two loaded pear trees, but the pears are always so hard. When should I pick them and what do I do with them?
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Old 07/31/08, 11:29 AM
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Location: Jeromesville, Ohio (northcentral)
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Maybe they are the same as what we have. My grandma calls them "winter pears". We don't pick them off the trees...we wait until they fall. We gather them when they fall and then wait a couple of weeks before we eat them. They still aren't really soft like bartletts, but they are tasty and are great for canning.
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Old 07/31/08, 11:32 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Northcentral Ohio
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We do the same....we wait for them to fall from the tree and gather them up. I don't know what kind of pears we have....there were three trees here when we bought the place.

Good luck!
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Old 07/31/08, 12:16 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Kentucky
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Sounds like Keifer pears. I actually plant them. They're late, usually somewhat small, but require far less care than other varieties. They can beautifully by the way.
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Old 07/31/08, 12:19 PM
Also known as Jean
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: MISSOURI
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My dad used to gather these kind of pears, spread them in a single layer in a cool spot (the basement) then let them soften up (usually a week or so). He would can a few quarts at a time this way. Made the basement smell good while they were softening.
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Old 07/31/08, 02:38 PM
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Location: Iowa
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Sounds like to me you have cooking pears that are used in cobblers and jams.
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Old 07/31/08, 03:10 PM
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Location: MS
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I've just finished canning 30 pints of this type pears. My mom called them canning pears. I guess for lack of a better name for them. It seems they never get soft and if I wait until they fall off the tree, it seems too late. They either have worms in them or the squirrels eat them. We gathered, peeled and canned them and they are yummy.
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Old 07/31/08, 04:02 PM
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Location: WI
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Most varieeties of pears need to be picked before they are ready to eat. Most kinds you pick when they start to feel slightly soft around the stem end. Then pick them, and either store in the refrigerator, or leave at room temp to ripen in a few days. It seems like just about every variety varies a bit in just when to pick them, so if you have lots of pears, do a bit of experimenting. Not many kinds actually ripen on the tree--most kinds will be overly soft and brown inside when they feel ripe on the tree.
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Old 08/02/08, 02:41 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: North Florida
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Sand pears is what we call them around here....I do think they are a Kieffer pear. They are highly prized for canning. Perfect for pear preserves because they do not get soft/soggy after water bath. Instead, the pears remain "al dente" and firm. Lucky you to have several trees! My sand pears should be ripe in about 2 weeks...they go from a green to a mottled tan but will still be very hard.

Happy pear picking!
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Old 08/02/08, 12:42 PM
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Location: Tn
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We have some of those pears too. If you wait till they are's too late. They ripen from the inside out. They make good pear butter. The horse loves them. I planned to can some this yr and see how they do.
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Old 08/02/08, 12:48 PM
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We also call them canning pears, and if you wait for them to fall from the tree, all you have is a bunch of rotten pears under the tree.
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Old 08/02/08, 12:52 PM
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I have used this type of pear in canned chutney. Turned out really yummy!
"Perhaps I'll have them string a clothesline from the hearse I am in, with my underwear waving in the breeze, as we drive to the cemetary. People worry about the dumbest things!"
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Old 08/02/08, 01:02 PM
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I was just talking to my grandfather last night about the pear tree in his yard, and how the pears never get very big or seem very ripe. He said he didn't know much about them, but that they used to have another tree with pears for eating. This sounds exactly like the fruit the remaining tree has.

Too bad the deer eat all of them off the tree by midsummer.

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Old 08/02/08, 03:17 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Southern Lower Michigan
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I found some trees the other day loaded down with pears. They are a pretty brown on one side and very hard. Thought they weren't ripe yet. Plan to check on them next week. So I should check for a little softness at the stem end? Then can them? Wonder could you freeze them? Lisa
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Old 08/02/08, 05:43 PM
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Location: NC
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They are (what my mil calls) canning pears! They are delicious canned with a light syrup.. I peel, half, core, drop into 2 T. each vinegar, salt and one gal water solution (I leave them for about 10 min.) to keep them bright, rinse and cook until the are just tender, pack into hot jars and cover with a light syrup, can as directed. I serve them with a light or cream cheese, a berry on top and a sprig of mint in the middle of winter...
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Old 08/02/08, 10:33 PM
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Location: MS
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I canned mine with some crushed pineapple, which gave it a very good taste.
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Old 08/03/08, 08:38 AM
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Visit this link for an expert answer to your question about ripening:

I would consider canning and pear juice as two viable options besides fresh eating.

When they talk about ripening in a bag...use paper, not plastic. Put a piece of fruit that is already ripening in with the greenies and it will give off a gas that may assist in the ripening process.

It's not good enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required. - Winston Churchill
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